I've been writing since I first learned to put pencil to paper. First writing stories for myself and then friends. I spent many years as an educator and administrator and encouraged students to write and express themselves. Even as I was pursuing my educational career, I always knew someday I would create books for others to enjoy.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW - SIX MINUTES WITH SUE C. DUGAN:
Joining LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author today is Sue C. Dugan, author of A Slow Climb Up the Mountain, an award-winning “fast-paced, enjoyable read.”
Our reviewers said, “The book has real feelings and is extremely true to life” and “The many different storylines weave together to form a well-developed and complex novel.”
***How did you get started writing?
I can’t think of a time I wasn’t writing and dreaming up stories. I remember writing and illustrating books in elementary school. I think I was off-task instead of doing my school work. In middle-and high-school I wrote stories for my friends (usually about the guy they had a secret crush on).
Then later, as a high school teacher and principal, there was plenty of story and character fodder. I kept student stories and situations tucked away in the back of my head to bring out and share.
I began writing in earnest when our family had a life-altering event. Suddenly I realized, someday might not happen, and I shouldn’t put off my dreams of being a writer any longer. I hit the ground running after talking to a life coach and solidifying what I wanted for my life.
***Who influenced you?
Every author I ever read. I was a voracious reader
***Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I enjoy reading about places I have never been to, but I also like familiar settings like Nevada and Michigan (my home state). I like learning new facts about my home state but also what makes a country or city unique and special.
***What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Read all sorts of different writers from the classics (there’s a reason they’ve stuck around for so long) to popular contemporary work, including picture books. Picture books are compact and have a complete story told in a short amount of time. Each word needs to have meaning. See how picture books are constructed and expand upon those.
***Where is your favorite place to write?
I enjoy going to Lake Tahoe to work. There’s something quite magical about listening to the waves, hearing the rustle of the trees, and the calls of the water and forest birds.
***What else would you like to tell us?
I really enjoy reading authors who write about being different, having challenges I can only imagine, or living within a culture unique from mine. I particularly like Jacqueline Woodson, Erin Entrada Kelly, Ellen Hopkins, and Neil Gaiman. For a short while, I can walk a mile in their shoes and understand a tiny part of what makes them unique and special.
Sue, thanks for joining us for an author interview. We love how you have been able to draw on your experiences as a teacher and principal. It’s a great reminder that we all have different circumstances that can feed our creativity. We look forward to hearing about what you’re working on next.